California Healthline Highlights Recent Hospital News
Kindred Hospital Modesto might stop treating Medi-Cal beneficiaries in the hospital's subacute care unit because of a dispute over reimbursement rates, the Modesto Bee reports. If the services are canceled for Medi-Cal beneficiaries, 14 patients would have to be relocated to other facilities, including some in the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California.
Kindred officials say Medi-Cal reimbursements for subacute care are 30%, or about $140, less than reimbursements for services at similar facilities. However, the state has refused to increase the payments.
The hospital's Medi-Cal contract expired last month, but it was extended to Sept. 30 so negotiations could continue.
The dispute does not affect other services Medi-Cal beneficiaries receive at the hospital (Carlson/Scianna, Modesto Bee, 7/13).
Catholic Healthcare West has contracted with the Sacramento Maternal-Fetal Medicine Medical Group to provide comprehensive care to women and infants at six Mercy hospitals in Greater Sacramento and Grass Valley, the Sacramento Business Journal reports. Previously, the medical group contracted with Sutter Health.
Under the agreement, four doctors will oversee in-house deliveries at Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Carmichael and maternal transfers will be accepted there. Bedside consultation for high-risk patients will be provided at Methodist and Mercy General hospitals in Sacramento.
Telephone consultations with obstetric physicians will be available at all six hospitals.
The medical group also will support new CHW services that will focus on care shortly before and after birth, outcomes for mothers and babies and a national program to standardized fetal-monitor strip reading (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 7/10).
The University of California-Davis Health System and Catholic Healthcare West are considering jointly operating a medical clinic in Rocklin pending the donation of land for a facility, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.
UC-Davis has planned to build a new outpatient medical clinic in Rocklin, and CHW hopes to build a hospital across the intersection from the clinic. UC-Davis also has preliminary plans for an outpatient campus that could include a cancer center, surgery center and medical offices on an adjacent lot.
However, the plans depend on pending land donations.
Under the plan, UC-Davis and CHW would jointly lease the Placer Center for Health. The Business Journal reports that if the joint effort succeeds, "the two health systems could save money and increase their market power by linking the two projects and referring patients back and forth" (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 7/7).
Plans to develop a labor-and-delivery unit a San Mateo Medical Center have been abandoned because of the "uncertainty of future reimbursements" the center would receive from treating Medi-Cal patients, the hospital board said, the Oakland Tribune reports.
The results of a special study session on the operating costs and revenue potential of the unit were presented to the hospital board last week. Upon reviewing the report, the "board felt that the risk was too great to take on for this kind of unit" as state and federal Medi-Cal reimbursement rates continue to decline, medical center spokesperson David Hook said.
The board will now consider other options for the vacant space.
The medical center borrowed $14 million from the county this fiscal year, and the county's $68 million subsidy of the medical center represents a 46% increase since 2000 (Gordon, Oakland Tribune, 7/8).
Santa Paula Hospital, formerly Santa Paula Memorial Hospital, reopened on Thursday after increasing debt and other problems forced the hospital to close in December 2003, the Ventura County Star reports (Wilson, Ventura County Star, 7/13). State inspectors on Wednesday gave approval to open the hospital (Griggs, Los Angeles Times, 7/14).
The 49-bed hospital will offer an emergency department, obstetrics, an intensive care unit, medical-surgical wings and services including radiology, laboratory and pharmacy (Ventura County Star, 7/13). The hospital has the only ED in the Santa Clara River Valley (Biasotti, Ventura County Star, 7/14).
The Santa Paula City Council agreed to rezone the land the hospital was on for commercial use after the facility closed, making it possible for creditors to auction off half of the hospital's property. The city purchased the other half, including the hospital building, for $2.75 million but did not assume any of the liabilities (Ventura County Star, 7/13).
Ventura County Supervisor Kathy Long said, "This is one of very few instances in the nation where a community has been able to reopen a small, rural hospital" (Los Angeles Times, 7/14).